Finding wildlife in Scotland

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Watch this video and see some of Scotland's remarkable wildlife, from timourous red squirrels to playful dolphins.
Great Scottish wildlife

See some of Scotland's remarkable wildlife, from timourous red squirrels to playful dolphins.

  • A golden eagle.
    A golden eagle
  • Close up shot of puffins on the Pentland Skerries
    Puffins on the Pentland Skerries
  • A close up of a red kite soaring high above Bellymack Hill Farm in Dumfries & Galloway
    A red kite soaring high above Bellymack Hill Farm in Dumfries & Galloway
  • Seals in Loch Flodabay, Isle of Harris
    Seals in Loch Flodabay, Isle of Harris

Whether on a mountain or hill, in a glen, forest or along the shoreline, there’s a wealth of wildlife experiences to be had in Scotland. With such an array of diverse animals, including some of the most rare and endangered species on the British Isles, Scotland promises unforgettable encounters with wildlife.

Scotland’s regions vary greatly and it’s this diversity that attracts many different species to make Scotland their home. Along thousands of miles of coastline, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals and otters in quiet inlets, beaches and sea lochs.

Often spotted off the coast of Scotland’s many islands, orca and minke whales make an appearance in sight of the shore or if not, draw up close next to boats on wildlife cruises.  On just such a cruise, there are few natural sights more impressive than watching tens of thousands of seabirds congregating on sheer sea cliffs from below.

In dense forests, you may have to seek the helping hand of a knowledgeable, professional guide to find elusive mammals like pine martens. Birdlife is truly abundant across the rugged Scottish landscapes from wild fowl in wetland reserves to waders at the coast. In some cases, you'll have to crane your neck skywards to catch a glimpse of some of Scotland's majestic hunters; from ospreys to red kites and golden eagles to sea eagles.

With each new season brings a new incomparable sight, from red deer stags locking antlers in the annual autumnal rut or the arrival of pink-footed geese in the winter, migrating from the colder tundra landscapes of Greenland and Iceland.

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  1. Basking Shark Scotland

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    South Queensferry

    Welcome to Basking Shark Scotland

  2. Abernethy

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Grantown on Spey

    Abernethy Forest is a remnant of the Caledonian Forest in Strathspey.

  3. Claish Moss Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ardnamurchan

    Claish Moss is one of the best examples in Britain of a raised bog that has evolved over the last 8,000 years.

  4. Noss National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Noss National Nature Reserve is a spectacular island reserve which is home to vast colonies of nesting seabirds.

  5. Balranald - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Outer Hebrides

    Balranald RSPB is a beautiful Hebridean reserve which has sandy beaches, rocky foreshore, marshes and sand dunes.

  6. Absolute Escapes Ltd

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Absolute Escapes is a leading specialist in self-guided walking holidays in Scotland. We offer packages on some of the most spectacular long distance trails in the world as well as centre based walking holidays in the majestic Highlands of Scotland.

  7. Hoy Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hoy

    Welcome to Hoy Nature Reserve.

  8. RSPB Mersehead Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Dalbeattie

    Situated on the scenic north shore of the Solway coast, RSPB Mersehead Reserve is an extensive wetland and saltmarsh area and haven for breeding waders, wintering waterfowl and year-round bird and wildlife-watching.

  9. The Owl And Pussycat Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Peterhead

    ** MEET THE STARS ** MEET THE STARS ** We are privileged to announce the arrival of two famous residents. HARRY POTTER STARS Hedwig and Eral are now resident at the Centre and are looking forward to meeting all our visitors.

  10. Gradings

    Dunvegan

    Take an exhilarating 25 minute boat trip to see the seal colony and observe these playful sea mammals at close quarters.

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